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The major research theme of this program is to continue the investigation of gene expression profiles in cells from blood and synovial fluid of patients with juvenile arthritis. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common rheumatic disease of childhood and constitutes a heterogeneous group of pediatric arthropathies. Disease outcomes range from mild disease with complete recovery to severe persistent arthritis with possible joint destruction and disability. There are currently 7 subtype classifications of JIA based on clinical phenotypes. For most patients, long-term outcomes are difficult to predict, and identification of patients who may benefit from early aggressive treatment is uncertain, particularly as these treatments have both risk and expense.
PurposeThe goal of this study is to understand the molecular basis of this complex pediatric disease. Our previous studies have identified gene expression profiles, called “signatures”, that are characteristic of individual JIA subtypes. Identification of gene expression differences in JIA can be used to expand knowledge of pathological processes, as well as improve JIA classification by better defining heterogeneity within JIA. This study will also allow for an unprecedented ability to correlate gene expression data and genomic sequence data with great potential to determine disease mechanisms and identify new therapeutic targets. In addition, a substantial gene/gene expression database will continue to be built to provide a national resource for the study of autoimmunity in children.
SignificanceThe current program project focuses on 3 of the JIA subtypes, namely systemic, polyarticular and oligoarticular. It is anticipated that the projects will lead to the identification of gene expression biomarkers associated with disease status and subsequently, to the design and production of bioassays for the clinic. Ultimately, this will improve clinical management by providing novel tools for assessing disease activity and proper choice of therapy.
ProjectsThe program consists of four individual projects which focus on different aspects of gene expression “signatures”, using overlapping patient samples and expression data in correlation with patient clinical data.
The projects are critically supported by three cores located within Cincinnati Children’s.
The program consists of four individual projects which focus on different aspects of gene expression “signatures”, using overlapping patient samples and expression data in correlation with patient clinical data.
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